3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Picks 17-32
17) New England Patriots: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The back half of the first round in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft begins with the New England Patriots. The Patriots desperately need outside receiver help, and Bateman sitting on the board made too much sense. A well-rounded receiver with minimal downside while still maintain an impressive ceiling, adding Bateman would make for a strong group of receivers with Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry on the team. The question now remains, who will the Patriots quarterback be in 2021?
18) San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Jones II, EDGE, PITT
Patrick Jones is my personal EDGE1, and he’s a perfect running mate to pair with 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, Nick Bosa. Jones provides more burst off the LOS and a bit more fluidity, but he’s still naturally strong and sets a dominant edge. San Francisco desperately wanted to see Creed Humphrey at this pick, but Jones is an excellent consolation prize.
19) Chicago Bears: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Based on everything we’ve seen, it feels unlikely that Allen Robinson wants to return to Chicago after this season. That leaves a hole to fill at receiver, and with Waddle on the board, this is a no-brainer. Waddle adds a level of explosiveness that the Bears offense lacks. If Anthony Miller can continue to take steps in his development, and Darnell Mooney continues his impressive rookie season, adding Waddle might give Chicago the most exciting, young, WR trio in the NFL.
20) Philadelphia Eagles: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri
The Eagles are 1-2-1, yet selecting 20th overall. What a testament to the state of the NFC East. The division is awful, and speaking of awful, so are the Philadelphia linebackers. Nate Gerry seeing the fields has Eagle fans and NFL analysts bewildered. At the same time, Duke Riley and Shaun Bradley have not been much better.
Nick Bolton is an elite athlete who’s a dominant open-field tackler and looks very comfortable in coverage. Putting behind a very stout Philly defensive line would allow him to utilize his elite speed freely and make plays from one sideline to the other.
21) Cleveland Browns: Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
One of the most complete players in the class, Holland is a mismatch piece that will make a living covering tight-ends and big slots at the next level. He’s also a strong run defender and even flashes as a pass rusher.
He’s not overwhelmingly big, nor is he an elite athlete, so his ceiling will be limited. However, his floor is about as good as it gets, and worst-case scenario, Cleveland (at least in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft), gets a slot corner who doubles as a third safety in dime packages.
22) Indianapolis Colts: Dillon Radunz, OT, NDSU
Yes, that’s two North Dakota State players in the first round of this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft. Some might think this as too high for Radunz; others may think it’s too low. The NFL seems to be high on the NDSU product, and it makes sense.
He’s a strong athlete, who crushed his level of competition, and doesn’t have any major flaws that would prevent a team from playing him early as a rookie. The change in his level of competition will be a massive jump, but we’ll hopefully see him take on some of the nation’s top senior edge rushers at the Senior Bowl.
23) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carlos Basham, EDGE, Wake Forest
“Boogie” Basham was one of the nation’s most disruptive pass rushers last season, and he’s looking just as dominant this year. An average athletic profile gives him a limited ceiling, but Basham’s hot motor, use of pass rush moves, and play strength give him a high floor as an NFL edge defender. JPP will be 32 with a single year left on his deal, and Shaq Barrett could be on another team by the time Tampa is on the clock in the 2021 NFL Draft.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers: Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
Big, powerful, and downright nasty. The Steelers are in desperate need of a young, talented tackle, and Carman could be the guy they plug into the left tackle spot for the foreseeable future. He’s a natural people mover, and despite having a massive frame, his feet are quick and smooth. He still needs development to develop further as a pass protector, but the skills are there for him to be an elite left tackle.
25) Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Weapon. That’s the only word to truly describe Kyle Pitts. Since the start of this season, Pitts has been unguardable, posting 12 catches for 227 yards and six touchdowns in two games.
Jacksonville has a gaping hole at the tight end position, and we know how successful Jay Gruden was when he had a healthy Jordan Reed. Adding Pitts to an already loaded Jacksonville receiving corps could spell trouble for the rest of the AFC South. That’s why he’s the pick here in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
26) Tennessee Titans: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Oweh is expected to test as one of the best athletes in NFL history. Despite having a massive 6’5 frame, the expectation is that he’ll test more like a wide receiver than a pass rusher.
Pairing Oweh with Harold Landry would give Tennessee one of the most explosive edge rush duos in the NFL. Add that to developing superstar Jeffery Simmons, and you have a trio that will give nightmares to opposing quarterbacks.
27) New Orleans Saints: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB/S, Notre Dame
Someone you may not know yet, but you should, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is the next positionless defensive star. He blurs the line between linebacker and strong safety and he’s constantly making plays against the run while blanketing players in coverage. For a Saints roster that doesn’t need much, a player who can do almost everything well makes perfect sense in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
28) Buffalo Bills: Jaylen Mayfield, OT, Michigan
With right tackle Daryl Williams on a one-year deal, drafting a new right tackle makes a ton of sense for a Bills roster that really isn’t in need of much. They would benefit from an edge rusher, but I don’t like the value of anyone here.
Mayfield is a natural right tackle, who’s smooth pass set and flash plays will be sure to grab the attention of NFL scouts. I also believe he’s a strong athlete who should have a strong combine showing, further leading a team to select him in the first.
29) Green Bay Packers: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
This feels…wrong. With a receiver class as deep and talented as this one, someone was bound to fall further than they should. In this scenario, it was Rondale Moore in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.
Moore is one of the few people on the planet who could be in the same class as Jaylen Waddle and be viewed as the superior athlete. He’s going to test like one of the best athletes we’ll ever see, and it shows on tape. He’s explosive and elusive, and very difficult to take down. The Packers desperately need to invest in weapons outside of Davante Adams, and Moore fits the bill perfectly.
30) Baltimore Ravens: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Some of the best hands I’ve ever evaluated, I’ve only seen DeVonta Smith drop one pass in all the games I’ve watched. Whether it be film evaluation or live viewings, he plays like there’s glue on his gloves. He’s also a nuanced route-runner and an above-average athlete.
The Ravens could desperately use a player with hands like Smith, as he should instantly become Lamar Jackson’s go-to target. It’s also worth noting that PFN’s Tony Pauline is hearing that Smith is the more highly rated Alabama receiver than teammate Jaylen Waddle.
31) New York Jets (via SEA): Wyatt Davis, iOL, Ohio State
Some view Davis as a top-15 talent. They point out his impressive play strength and his impressive fluidity and body control for a big player. However, I think he’s an inconsistent finisher, particularly in the open field, and he could stand to improve his hands in pass protection. His athletic testing could play an important role in where he’s drafted.
32) Kansas City Chiefs: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
The 32nd pick in this 3-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft belongs to the Kansas City Chiefs, thus signaling another Super Bowl championship. I was very tempted to give the Chiefs the top skill-position player left on the board, simply because I could see them going that route. However, given the state of the cornerbacks’ room, I think investing in the secondary would be the wiser route.
Samuel has had a very strong start to the season, and he projects best as an elite nickel cornerback in the NFL. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t find success on the boundary. He’d be an instant boost to a shaky Kansas City cornerback unit.